While I was digesting our lesson in our small group, the Lord made sure that I really got His message that He had to tell it to me over and over again.
That important lesson is something that I’m sure that I’ve learned so many times, but its urgency to be absorbed again is vital. It really is.
Our group was discussing about the young rich ruler who came to Jesus and asked how he can have an eternal life. I’ve heard this story a thousand times before, and it taught me important life lessons every time I ponder upon this part of God’s Word. In our small group, we were reflecting on how to honor God through our wealth and how we should avoid pitfalls of improper management of wealth.
Suddenly, one of my fellow young adults in the group shared something exactly what I’ve read few nights ago. When we discussed something about tithing, he shared another thought related to it. He said that the Lord offers salvation without asking anything from us. If we do or give something for God, it is a product of what He did for us.
Let me share his illustration:
“Imagine the testimonies of drug users. You will rarely encounter a drug addict who will testify that He became free from drugs because he tried so hard to avoid it. Most of them will joyfully tell us that they escaped from the bondage of drug addiction because they encountered Jesus, and one day, they just lost their taste for drugs.”
“Try to imagine an adulterer. It’s hard to find an adulterer whose life suddenly transformed and will claim that the change was because of what he has done. An adulterer with a changed life will usually admit that his taste for flesh suddenly disappeared after the Lord touched his life.”
While listening to what he’s sharing, I remembered what the Lord was impressing on me very recently.
I’m reading a book on energizing relationship with God, and I was awestruck with the third chapter. It’s something that the Lord reminded me.
Lately, I felt the urge to deepen my relationship with the Lord. I had an amazing relationship with Him throughout the first half of the year, and I was thinking of making an upgrade. I’ve thought about having more and longer prayer time, more books and more time for devotion, some ministry and some kind of volunteerism, and many other ways of upgrading my commitment for God.
However, God calmed me down and taught me that perhaps I was taking it in the wrong way.
In the book, the author expressed it right, “All of heaven will be about our relationship with God, not our religion–those things we do on our own to try to gain his favor.” He added, “It’s time to stop trying to please Him and simply love Him.”
He pointed out that following the commandments is really hard if we will rely on our will to do it, but if we will love the Lord, it will be easier to follow the commandments because we do it because of love , not because we are compelled to follow them.
He made used the parable of the 10 virgins as an illustration. For a very long time, I’ve viewed this parable about being unprepared when Christ returns. In the book, the author showed a different perspective. According to him, the five foolish virgins were not accepted to see the groom because they left and looked for oil. That means, they relied on their own ability or capacity in order to be accepted or welcomed by the groom. In the story, the groom told them, “I didn’t know you.” Meaning, the groom is more concerned with the relationship that the bridesmaids have with Him than the things that they can do or give.
Sometimes, we have the tendency that we feel that our deeds and sacrifices are not enough to honor God and we try to do more to make us worthy of our salvation. But Jesus will always remind us that there’s nothing that we can do more that will make Him love us or to deserve His love. His love is unconditional, and it’s free.
Now, the secret has been revealed again. The secret of a happy and fruitful Christian life is not about the things that we can do for God or the things that we can give Him. It’s about our relationship with Jesus that we will do things for Him not because we have to but because they are the result of the love that we received from Him. We are doing it because of love.
There are times that it might be hard to understand the Bible, difficult to pause and be still for a prayer, or unmanageable to honor Him with our time, talents, or treasure; yet if we will go back to heart of the matter that loving Him as He loved us is the beginning of everything, our spiritual walk will not be as hard as we thought it is.
I might be numb or deaf at times, but I thank the Lord that this time I haven’t missed His message. I had to preserve this one. That’s why I wrote it.
This is a reminder to love the Lord more. Without reservations. Before doing more or giving more, we should make sure that our relationship with the Lord gets stronger and deeper. That’s the secret
The Lord has many things to teach us. All we have to do is listen, and if we miss it, He’ll make a way to tell it again. He just did.